Thoughts from the shower.

The abundant warm water prompted some reflection on the services and practices we expect from our Brunswick and Glynn Joint Water and Sewer Commission (JWSC) and the fact that some of our oldest neighborhoods are still not being properly served. And the system does not seem to be set up to change that.

Specifically, in older neighborhoods where most residential units are rented, the owners, who should be responsible for providing up-to-date modern sanitary services to their properties, seem dedicated to simply collecting rents and nothing else. When units become uninhabitable, they board them up and walk away.

Somehow we have to get across the reality that, like citizenship, property ownership involves a bundle of obligations. Indeed, if municipal services are extended to properties that are unsanitary and unsafe, then the community becomes complicit to ripping people off.

Where to start? Well, instead of collecting social security numbers and drivers’ license numbers, which have to relationship to housekeeping at all, from the applicants for utility services, the JWSC should look up ownership and review either a deed title or lease for the property. And the owners of property should be reminded that they are ultimately responsible for any costs incurred. As it stands now, when renters abscond the utility is dunned.